Monday, January 11, 2010

The Shape of a Life

"If you are not becoming the person you want to become, then you are automatically becoming a person you don't want to become."

These wise words were spoken on Sunday by a man giving a talk in our ward. The idea has stuck with me. He was talking about goals, and the committment to stick with them.

I have always loved this idea of becoming the best person I can be. I suppose this is a recreation of The Burden of Omission, but I have a deep-rooted desire to grow, to experience, and to be full. I know I cannot be everything all at once, but I don't even know where to start. And then I worry... if I follow my own goals, are those goals good enough? Are they the best that I can do with myself? For instance, I want to write a fantasy novel. I enjoy it... and there's something to be said for writing an entire book. That takes a lot of work! But, in the end, is it the best thing I can do with my time and talents? Might it not be better to write another book that is also floating around in my head, one that is meant to encourage and strengthen girls of all ages? Of course, who am I to tout ideas of self-worth and joy?

Or perhaps, since I am a stay-at-home Mom in a family that is currently broke, might it be better, at least for right now, to postpone the idea of writing a book and instead try to find a job that I can do at home? I worry about what will be the best use of my time, and in the end give up and instead re-read novels.

So here's the plan: When I look back on my life, I do want to see true enjoyment. I want to see the little moments spent with family and friends and hobbies that add up to a lifetime of goodness. I want to look back and not see any holes, any "I wishes" or sighs of regret. I want to know that I, myself, wrote a book, learned the piano, played with loved ones, and gave my whole heart to those I love. I want to like myself, my whole self, and in so doing be able to like others better. These are all goals that I can work on, right now, in my hole-in-the-wall little life.

Things would be easier, of course, if we had a house... if I could put Cara in her own room for a nap and not worry about waking her up with the sound of my typing, or if I could ignore the mess that perpetually clogs our little rooms. Things would be easier if my hip weren't hurting anymore and I could do more than walk at the gym. Things would be easier if... there's always an if. But if I wait for things to be better, they may not get any better. The time to work with is now. The circumstances won't make a book write itself or my hips suddenly get smaller.

I would love to do and be so many things... but I think, in the end, the most important thing will be knowing that I have done my best.


  1. So, I have a book to recommend to you. It is called You Can Heal Your Life and it is by Louise Hay. Not that I think your life needs healing, per se. It is just a really good self-investigating book, and it sounds like you are doing lots of detective work here.

    As a side note, Jon and I may be coming up to northern UT in Feb or March; maybe we can get together! I'll let you know when we make final plans.

  2. I think writing a book is definitely work you can do at home. Have you ever read how Mary Higgins Clark started out?
    As for Louise Hay, she has some good stuff but she's very "new age" and she definitely doesn't share LDS standards, so I would just say use your own judgment if you decide to read her stuff.